Management of acute and chronic migraine

Gianluca Coppola, Jean Schoenen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose of review: We highlight the recent clinical trials for the management of acute and chronic migraine. Recent findings: In women with menstrual migraine, triptans seem to be well tolerated irrespective of whether or not patients are taking oestrogen-containing contraceptives or have comorbidities that indicate increased cardiovascular risk. The new acute drug, telcagepant, a calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) antagonist, is safe for long-term use (up to 18 months) in migraine patients with stable coronary artery disease in whom the use of triptans is not advisable. From the pooled analysis of the two Phase III Research Evaluating Migraine Prophylaxis Therapy studies of onabotulinumtoxin A (BOTOX) in chronic migraineurs, it clearly emerged that efficacy increases overtime (up to 56 weeks) and paralleled self-perceived improvement in quality of life. Effectiveness was also observed in patients with severely disabling headaches, who met criteria for triptan abuse and were refractory to several prophylactic treatments. Finally, combination of preventive pharmacological agents with different action mechanisms may be the next frontier in therapeutic advancements for treating migraine. Summary: Although triptans are safe and well tolerated, CGRP antagonists may be an option for nonresponsive patients or those in whom the use of triptans is not advisable. New drugs and combinations of old therapeutic options may help patients with severe forms of headache.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-182
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Supportive and Palliative Care
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2012


  • Acute
  • Migraine
  • Preventive
  • Review
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Medicine(all)
  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine
  • Oncology(nursing)


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